What I know about Waco and the characters involved is this. TS “Smith” Kellum owned at least 2 cotton gins and probably close to 2000 acres of cotton land around Waco before 1866 when he declared bankruptcy. His brother William Riley Kellum was a more involved civic minded guy who also appears to have baled TS Kellum out of a jam by loaning him $3000 on 146 acres in 1866 while the same day TS Kellum gave his son Marion an 87 acre piece less than a mile away for $5. They were trying to hide the assets from the creditors.Smith Kellum owned the ferry crossing at the Brazos above the mouth of Bosque river and his brother William was appointed to the Suspension Bridge Board in Waco. They knew how to control people and make money. They were both civil patrol riders during the civil war rounding up deserters, runaway slaves and northern sympathizers. They were both on numerous grand juries. They were both heads of road gangs. These road gangs apparently just rounded up help (blacks) and were supposed to maintain the roads.Smith Kellum was in charge of the Fort Graham Road between the Brazos River crossing at his place up to the Hill County Line. He was also appointed to be head trustee of the McLennan county school district number 12 for Gholson.
Anyhow it just makes you wonder if he was so highly respected in Waco, what did he do to Hunson to get himself killed. Or was Hunson taking to fall for his friends back home? Or was Hunson’s family being threatened with harm if he didn’t say he did it?
William R. Kellum’s , Fort Worthdaily gazette Oct 24 1890 pg 5 obituary said he died at age 73 “from a fever” after being in McLennan county for 36 years.He died Oct. 23 1890.No mention of his Brother Smith Kellum in the Obit. William had been in the wholesale grocery business and owned Kellum and Raton a real estate investment company which sold a great deal of Waco as it was expanding.
I found a reference in The 1900 USGS McLennan County Survey, to a water well drilled on WR Kellums farm which was supposed to be producing 1,200,000 gallons of water a day at 72 lbs pressure. That’s 833 gallons per minute. Could be why the water table is dropping around here.
My wife is down at the county records building this afternoon and I asked her to look up Christian Hunson to see if he was one of the people involved in some land swindle by TS Kellum. You can’t make this kind of stuff up.
Also she will try to look at the library, which has microfilm from the Waco papers starting in 1874, which should allow her to search for Hunson arriving back in Waco if he ever made it there in custody, alive.
One would have to ask what kind of vigilante Hunson was if he wasn’t the clan, which was just getting started then.
This could explain why the deed records are as they are.
My guess is that TS Kellum was not the boy scout we had originally thought him to be but may not have been quite the nasty thief Hunson said he was either.Another explanation is that he may have been seen to be to soft on black’s thereby getting some people excited. From what I have read, Waco was not a very nice place to be if you were black in the 1870's thru 1970's
Like I said, you can’t make this kind of stuff up.